Quality Control (usually known as QC) is an important part of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device production and supply process. It often means different things in different contexts. For example, QC in a Pharmaceutical manufacturing company often refers to lab-based QC analysis of raw materials, intermediates and finished products, using different chemistry techniques (e.g. HPLC, GS, MS, LC-MS, wet chemistry or other materials characterisation techniques). Within a Biopharmaceutical company, QC may also include Microbiology (e.g. bioburden and endotoxin, testing environmental samples or water samples) or Biochemistry (e.g. ELISA, western blotting and SDS-PAGE). In different settings, QC may refer to other inspections and checks outside of the lab, including checking different components, inspecting packaging materials, and ensuring the correctness of shipments.
QC often works in close collaboration with Quality Assurance (QA). QA is defined as a procedure or set of procedures intended to ensure that a product or service under development (before work is complete, as opposed to afterwards) meets specified requirements. QA is sometimes expressed together with QC as a single expression, quality assurance and control (QA/QC).
In order to implement an effective QC program, an enterprise must first decide which specific standards the product or service must meet. Then the extent of QC actions must be determined (for example, the percentage of units to be tested from each lot). Next, real-world data must be collected (for example, the percentage of units that fail) and the results reported to management personnel. After this, corrective action must be decided upon and taken (for example, defective units must be repaired or rejected and poor service repeated at no charge until the customer is satisfied). If too many unit failures or instances of poor service occur, a plan must be devised to improve the production or service process and then that plan must be put into action. Finally, the QC process must be ongoing to ensure that remedial efforts, if required, have produced satisfactory results and to immediately detect recurrences or new instances of trouble.
Typical Job Titles include – QC Assistant, QC Scientist, QC Technician, QC Inspector
Key Skills and Experience
- Most QC roles require a degree in an analytical science, whether Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, or similar. However, this is not always essential
- Knowledge of analytical techniques (e.g. HPLC, GC, MS, LC-MS, GC-MS etc)
- Ability to complete and process complex documentation and data
- Knowledge of GMP / GLP
- Ability to stay focused, even if undertaking routine repetitive tasks
Entry-level QC roles generally start in the region of £17k - £18k and move up relatively quickly, especially if you have a degree. QC teams are often divided into levels (1, 2, 3 etc), with clearly defined salary bandings. Generally, an experienced QC Scientist who undertakes project leadership duties (e.g. method development, stability etc) will earn something in the region of £25k - £28k. Then, if you go down the supervisor / manager route, a QC Manager salary might start around the “mid 30s”. QC is not necessarily the most highly paid part of the Life Science industries, but it is varied and very important.
Ireland's Life Sciences sector has grown rapidly from modest beginnings in the 1960s to reach global significance. Collaborative clusters in Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Devices and Diagnostics have been a key element behind this remarkable growth in a sector that accounts for 32% of GDP.
The sector continues to develop and evolve, more recently Ireland has expanded its global hub beyond commercialisation to include innovation, digitalisation and next generation technologies.
Ireland is the 3rd largest exporter of pharmaceuticals globally.
85+ Pharmaceutical companies operate in Ireland - and it has 9 of the world's top pharmaceutical companies.
50 FDA approved pharma and biopharma plants.
Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. Situated on a bay on the East Coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey, it lies within the province of Leinster. It is bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of the Wicklow Mountains range.
Dublin is the largest centre of education in Ireland, and is home to four universities and a number of other higher education institutions. It was the European Capital of Science in 2012.
The University of Dublin is the oldest University in Ireland, dating from the 16th century, and is located in the city centre. Its sole constituent college, Trinity College (TCD), was established by Royal Charter in 1592 under Elizabeth I. It was closed to Roman Catholics until 1793, and the Catholic hierarchy then banned Roman Catholics from attending until 1970. It is situated in the city centre, on College Green, and has over 18,000 students.
The National University of Ireland (NUI) has its seat in Dublin, which is also the location of the associated constituent university of University College Dublin (UCD), which has over 30,000 students. Founded in 1854, it is now the largest university in Ireland.
As of 2019, Dublin's principal, and Ireland's largest, institution for technological education and research, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), with origins in 1887, has merged with two majour suburban third level institutions, Institute of Technology, Tallaght and Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown, to form Technological University Dublin, Ireland's second largest university by student population. The new university offers a wide range of courses in areas including engineering, architecture, scieces, health, journalism, digital media, hospitality, business, art and design, music and the humanities programmes, and has three long-term campuses, at Grangegorman, Tallaght and Blanchardstown.
Dublin City University (DCU), formerly the National Institute for Higher Education (NIHE) Dublin, offers courses in business, engineering, science, communication courses, languages and primary education. It has around 16,000 students.
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) conducts a medical school which is both a university and a recognised college, there are also large medical schools within UCD and Trinity College. The National College of Ireland is also based in Dublin, as well as the Economic and Social Research Institute, a social science research institute.
Ireland is a great place to further your career in life sciences. If you are a looking for pharmaceutical jobs in Dublin, scientific careers in Dublin or want to discuss cell therapy, gene therapy, ATMP, medical device, technology, biotech or pharmaceutical job opportunities in Dublin, give our Next Phase team a call. The Irish area is continuing to expand as a centre for jobs in science, process development, technology, software development, project management, informatics, quality, reg affairs and supply chain.
At Next Phase we help people find new jobs in life sciences across the UK, Europe and USA. This page lists some of the job opportunities in Dublin, and if you give us a call we can also talk to you about other scientific jobs, pharmaceutical career opportunities and the latest updates in cell and gene therapy and ATMP development in the Dublin area.